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The Water Dancer: A Novel by [Ta-Nehisi Coates]
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The Water Dancer: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 3,849 ratings

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Length: 401 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

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“Coates balances the horrors of slavery against the fantastical. He extends the idea of the gifts of the disenfranchised to include a kind of superpower. But The Water Dancer is very much its own book, and its gestures toward otherworldliness remain grounded. In the end, it is a novel interested in the psychological effects of slavery, a grief that Coates is especially adept at parsing. . . . In Coates’s world, an embrace can be a revelation, rare and astonishing.”—Esi Edugyan, The New York Times Book Review

“The most surprising thing about The Water Dancer may be its unambiguous narrative ambition. This isn’t a typical first novel. . . . The Water Dancer is a jeroboam of a book, a crowd-pleasing exercise in breakneck and often occult storytelling that tonally resembles the work of Stephen King as much as it does the work of Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead and the touchstone African-American science-fiction writer Octavia Butler. . . . It is flecked with forms of wonder-working that push at the boundaries of what we still seem to be calling magical realism.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

 “While neither polemical nor wholly fantastical, the story draws on skills [Coates] developed in those other genres. . . . The story’s bracing realism is periodically overcome by the mist of fantasy. The result is a budding superhero discovering the dimensions of his power within the confines of a historical novel that critiques the function of racial oppression. . . . Coates isn’t dropping supernatural garnish onto The Water Dancer any more than Toni Morrison sends a ghost whooshing through Beloved for cheap thrills. Instead, Coates’s fantastical elements are deeply integral to his novel, a way of representing something larger and more profound than the confines of realism could contain.”The Washington Post

“The best writers—the best storytellers, in particular—possess the enchanting, irresistible power to take the reader somewhere else. Ta-Nehisi Coates imagines the furthest reach of that power as a means to transcend borders and bondage in The Water Dancer, a spellbinding look at the impact of slavery that uses meticulously researched history and hard-won magic to further illuminate this country’s original sin. . . . Exploring the loaded issues of race and slavery has become yet more fuel for today’s culture wars, but an underlying message of liberation through the embrace of history forms the true subject of The Water Dancer. . . . Coates envisions the transcendent potential in acknowledging and retelling stories of trauma from the past as a means out of darkness. With recent family separations at the U.S. border, this message feels all the more timely.”Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Coates lives in New York City with his wife and son. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
3,849 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2019
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Top international reviews

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2.0 out of 5 stars Slavery is not arguable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2019
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Eric Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars A slow-burning horror
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 12, 2020
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not awful but not amazing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 16, 2019
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6 people found this helpful
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Venesta
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2019
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Thalita
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 20, 2019
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Madu Lafayette
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2020
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kat amara korba
5.0 out of 5 stars As ordered
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2020
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Linda Pfeiffer
4.0 out of 5 stars A profound story which should awaken many feelings for the reader
Reviewed in Canada on October 7, 2019
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Jim KABLE
5.0 out of 5 stars Dignity Restored
Reviewed in Australia on October 6, 2019
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Peter Eerden
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no substitute to excellence
Reviewed in Australia on November 30, 2019
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Sherry Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book.
Reviewed in Canada on October 23, 2019
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N S ARAVINDH
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and Engaging
Reviewed in India on March 11, 2020
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Robert M
3.0 out of 5 stars Bueno, pero no a la altura de sus trabajos de no-ficción
Reviewed in Spain on May 15, 2020
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Cedric Randolph
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth in magic
Reviewed in Italy on October 9, 2019
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leslie graham
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing read
Reviewed in Canada on March 2, 2020
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